06 July 2009

The Intention-Behavior Gap

I remember telling my friend Al Tommervik I had a great idea for a game, and him replying that he didn’t want to hear it, otherwise I’d be less likely to complete it. (This was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure the game was one I did end up completing perhaps 10 years later: King of Dragon Pass.)

I’ve always appreciated that advice, and it’s one reason I don’t talk a whole lot about software I have in development. I just learned that there’s research that shows that people who don’t announce their goals are more likely to achieve them. According to an abstract of four recent studies, “intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored.”

So unless something is imminent, I won’t be mentioning it here, as fun as it might be.

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